Network Report
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Join the Network in Plymouth, Michigan (30 minutes outside of Detroit) for a summit focused on navigating legal issues to collect, use, share and protect multi-sector data to improve the health of communities. The summit will provide attorneys, privacy officers, health officials, public health and community practitioners, and others with practical, in-depth information and tools to navigate a complex legal landscape. Sessions will focus on balancing the need to share data while complying with law and maintaining community trust. More details and registration information coming soon. Sign up here to receive updates or watch for more information in upcoming issues of the Network Report.

Law and Policy Perspectives:

Medicaid and Spending Caps – A Bad Idea that Won’t Go Away

Recent reports from news media assert the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on plans to radically change the way that state Medicaid programs are funded – without the requisite changes in the law. If CMS goes ahead with this plan, it would give states permission to strictly limit spending on their Medicaid programs, which has the potential to negatively impact public health in significant ways.

Public Health Law News Round-Up – January, 2019

Public health law and policy stories that made headlines recently examined the disproportionally high maternity mortality rates for African American women, the lack of access to mental health care for children, New York’s worst measles outbreak in decades, states’ efforts to address the opioid crisis, Philadelphia’s new plan to curb gun violence, and a Missouri law that connects animal abuse and domestic violence.  


Data and Federal Privacy Laws

It can be difficult to know whether there are legal barriers to a proposed data use. Different laws with different requirements can apply to data in different contexts. This annotated resource compilation is intended to help state and local agencies access information and resources needed to better understand the federal legal protections and requirements associated with datasets collected by federal agencies or as part of a federally funded program. These legal snapshots give an overview of the basic legal requirements of different federal data protection laws and provide links to full text versions of the law and other federal resources.


Preventing Communicable Disease through Vaccination Laws

TODAY: January 31, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST

Declining vaccination rates in the U.S. along with outbreaks of once well-controlled diseases, like measles and mumps, are critical public health concerns.  In this webinar, presenters will discuss vaccination mandates and exemptions for universities and colleges; California’s law eliminating personal-belief exemptions; and a real-world public health response to communicable disease outbreaks within a community and a federal detention facility.


Tackling Tough Public Health Problems through Cross-Sector Data Collaborations

February 28, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST

Join us for an examination of how cross-sector data sharing initiatives are being used to tackle tough public health problems. The webinar will provide an in-depth look at a cross-sector collaboration in Illinois between public health, law enforcement, emergency medical services, a fire department and a jail aimed at addressing the needs of high utilizers of behavioral health services.


Legal Technical Assistance Highlight:

Glove Use Regulations for Blood/Plasma Donation Centers

Medical personnel use gloves when performing procedures on patients to protect both the medical provider and the patient from the risk of contamination and transmitting disease. A policy analyst with a state health department recently contacted the Network about regulations governing the use of gloves in blood/plasma donations centers. 

Worth Sharing:

Millennials as New Messengers for Public Health

Gene Matthews, director of the Network’s Southeastern Region Office and Colleen Healy Boufides, senior staff attorney at the Network’s Mid-States Region Office, are co-authors, with others, of a column in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice. The authors discuss a communication strategy designed to extend beyond the more traditional “liberal” public health community to intentionally connect with more “conservative” members of those same communities who have been heavily affected by adverse health outcomes. Of note is the unique potential of millennials in the public health workforce as new messengers for public health.

What You Should Know About Using Naloxone

With more people carrying anti-overdose medications like naloxone, questions on how to administer the drug and whether people put themselves in legal jeopardy by doing so have arisen. In this news report by public radio station WBUR in Boston, Network Deputy Director Corey Davis talks about bystander protections through Good Samaritan laws that allow individuals to render emergency aid by administering naloxone.

Fellowship Opportunity:

FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship

Call for Applications for the FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship are being accepted now until 3:00pm ET on March 1. This collaborative program between the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and the National Academy of Medicine is a paid, 12-month multidisciplinary residential experience at CTP in Maryland.  Fellows are placed in various areas within CTP, including compliance and enforcement; health communication and education; administrative management; regulations; or science.  Over the course of a year, fellows help lead defined projects, actively participate in the development of science-based public health strategies, and meet with policy leaders.

Thank You!

Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!

The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.